Today is National Spaghetti Day! I know, I know, you're thinking that I invent a new food related holiday every day, but in fact, today really is National Spaghetti Day. I've been celebrating the delicious dish all day long, and meant to start it off (small technical snafu) with this rich recipe from Bologna, Italy. Bolognese is a popular Italian sauce that is found in restaurants all over America. It is a thick meat, vegetable and cream sauce most typically served over spaghetti. In Italy a bolognese sauce is more commonly referred to as ragu. To celebrate National Spaghetti Day and make an authentic spaghetti ragu,

Spaghetti Bolognese
From Mario Batali

1 lb spaghetti
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons butter
1 carrot, finely, diced
1 medium onion, diced
1 rib celery, finely diced
1 clove garlic, sliced
1 pound veal, ground
1 pound pork, ground
1/4 pound pancetta or slab bacon, ground
1/2 tube tomato paste
1 cup milk
1 cup dry white wine
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Parmigiano-Reggiano, for grating

  1. In a 6 to 8-quart, heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat.
  2. Add the onions, celery, and garlic and sweat over medium heat until the vegetables are translucent and soft but not browned, about 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Add the veal, pork, and pancetta and stir into the vegetables.
  4. Add the meat over high heat, stirring to keep the meat from sticking together until browned.
  5. Add the tomato paste, milk, and wine and simmer over medium-low heat for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  6. 20 minutes before sauce is ready, begin cooking pasta per instructions.
  7. Season ragu with salt and pepper, to taste, and remove from the heat.
  8. When ready to use, the cooked pasta should be added to a saucepan with the appropriate amount of hot ragu Bolognese, and tossed so that the pasta is evenly coated by the ragu.